How to Be happy at Work
The ‘Uncut Series’ is a set of audio out-takes that I recorded on the fly based around the 7 Job Search Pillars. The audio contains comment and valuable insight from myself and experts in the field of career – on how to be happy at work – derived from personal and professional experiences that have helped me and many others discover a career path towards their dream job.
Listen to my latest interview with Happiness Coach Susanna Halonen in which she talks about her personal experiences of work and how she lost motivation in her corporate job and found her calling in her current role. She also talks about how she dealt with and fought fear and how a book changed her life. She also talks about her latest book and reveals the symptoms that you might experience that indicate you’re not happy at work.
Susanna: I became a happyologist basically through a series of little steps. I used to be in the corporate world originally. It was when I was at the corporate world and I realized that I wasn’t fulfilled that I discovered basically positive psychology which is the science of happiness and human performance.
Susanna: Through this amazing book called The Happiness Advantage by Sean Acre. It was a total eye opener and life changer for me. As I read that book I realized, “Oh my God, this is exactly the field that I need to be in, this is exactly what I need to be doing.” It was after that book that I decided to basically take little steps to explore the field more. It was also a coaching session, actually, that I had from a career coach that helped me realize that I could actually change my career path as well.
Susanna: Coming from a family, I have 3 brothers and a father and they’re all in corporate world, and management consulting, financial services. A very kind of different path than what I’m taking now. I’d always assumed that the corporate path was just the one to follow. My coach really helped me realize that wow, there really are other things that I can do and if that’s what I want to do that’s okay. After that coaching session it was like a series of steps that I took to basically test the waters a bit, explore positive psychology a little bit deeper. Eventually, I ended up leaving the corporate world, doing a full on coaching accreditation and a masters in positive psychology and then set up Happyologist as a business. Now, that’s what I do basically full time.
Alex: I can really resonate with a lot of what you said there because my career path was very much defined I suppose, or at least set out by my parents. I wanted to follow them as my example and it only through exploration that I discovered other things. I think that’s a really good point in terms of taking a career path that suits you as opposed to following one that’s been defined or set out for you. That’s a really good point.
What was it about the, for you, the corporate world … I believe you worked for Sony, it looks like you had a really good career with them. What was it about your corporate life that perhaps made you question what you were doing and take a different route?
Susanna: It was quite interesting because Sony was also my first job after university. I was quite excited about it. I went into the graduate scheme. I got a lot of training and development which is amazing and I still really appreciate that. I think as I stayed there longer and longer I started to kind of see myself change a little bit and I stopped challenging situations. I started to accept status quo which is kind of what … Sometimes that seems to happen in the corporate world and I realized that’s not really me. I have more ambition and drive than that. I’m really motivated to change things and to make things better. That was definitely one thing that I realized that was a little bit of a mismatch, that it was just too difficult to create change in the corporate world. Also, I think just the environment in itself wasn’t right for me. I love freedom and independence.
I’m sure with maybe the right teams and the right managers that’s possible. It is quite rare to come across these days. I realized, well actually, if I’m going to work my bum off and I’m really going to want to do things that are meaningful to me I should set up something on my own and do something that I feel like I have to do rather than something that I just feel like I should do. I think there was also a little bit of a values mismatch as far as the company culture internally and my values personally as well. In the end I just realized it wasn’t … The industry wasn’t right for me, the company wasn’t right for me. I realized I needed to think about what’s most meaningful to me and how I want to spend my time. That’s when I decided to basically make the leap and make the change.